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19 th century stories
The first Jews of Dorsten
Dorsten 1820: "Violence in
the synagogue itself"
Eisendrath Family in Dorsten
The family name
Julia Eisendrath - portrait of
a Jewish Mama
Eulogy at the grave of
Julia Eisendrath
Jewish real property in Dorsten
Nathan Eisendrath emigrates
David Samson Eisendrath
Establishing in the USA
Migration of Jews from Europe
to North America
20 th century stories
Visits to Europe since the 1920s
1933: A Protest Letter to
President Hindenburg (1933)
The Letter in full text
The Eisendrath branch in Zaandam/Netherlands
The last jewish place in Dorsten
Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath
Charles R. Eisendrath: An
identity and family history that
are inextricably linked (1999)
21 st century stories
Adam Eisendrath: The German Heritage Quest - February 2000
Dorsten contacts and
visits 2001-2007
Family Reunion 2010
The journey of two prayer books
Who and why?
The Dorsten research group
and the Jewish Museum
of Westphalia
 
* The signature in the header above
is that of Samson Nathan Eisendrath
(from the year 1840)
 
 
Both moving and happy -
The Eisendrath Family Reunion

But on the other hand a number of people from the USA had made spontaneous visits to our museum in Dorsten in search of their Wesphalian roots. And thus the idea developed into a realistic project (looking back, we must admit, we were a bit nervous…).

In the end exactly 53 members of the Eisendrath family, whose ancestors came from Dorsten, gathered here in early July 2010 at the invitation of the Jewish Museum of Westphalia; they came from New York, San Francisco, Michigan, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, from Illinois and all parts of the USA as well as from Belgium to find out about their family roots in Dorsten and the surrounding area. It was in 1848 that the first member of the family emigrated. Others followed, most of them emigrating to the USA. The Jewish family were tanners. The unusual name and genealogical research prove that they are all descendants of this family.

And they have achieved a lot: a leather dynasty, film producers („Beverly Hills 90201”!), a famous Reform Rabbi who fought for civil rights together with Martin Luther King, a Democratic Governor candidate, museum people, chemistry professors, brokers, psychiatrists, a town planner, a Montessori teacher and a fundraiser… So there was plenty to talk about. Stefan Eisendrath from Belgium had prepared a few metres of „family trees” which he brought along and there all family members were able to find their branch of the family.

In an amusing speech the journalist Charles Eisendrath, who had already been to Dorsten in 1989, described how „between Boston and Moscow” he had discovered this remarkable place and its special museum. The program covered several days and included discussions with members of the museum, talks on historical culture and family history, a guided tour of the museum, a trip to Münster, a scenic tour of the old town of Dorsten with the original mother of the clan, Julia Eisendrath, as the guide. Mayor Lütkenhorst welcomed the group at the Old Town Hall and on a coach tour he also showed the family members modern Dorsten with its development problems. Many of the guests stayed with active members of the museum. Occasionally there was also a program for the children with a visit to a swimming pool and also to a school.

At the cemetery on „Judenbusch” not only the graves of Samson Nathan Eisendrath, his wife Julia and his son Baruch (origin of the Dutch-Belgian branch) can be seen but also a testimony to earlier connections: In the 1920s the US Eisendraths were responsible for the renovation of the cemetery (and in 1934 they wrote to President Paul Hindenburg to protest about the terrible treatment of German Jews). The family members murdered by the Nazis, who have not found a grave, were remembered. Children traced the old inscriptions, some men said Kaddish (followed by The Lord’s Prayer because many of the guests are Christians!). And before this cemetery situation began to weigh too heavily on everyone, an interesting and relaxed discussion with the World War veteran Richard Stern developed on whether organized religion does more harm than good…

A closer look was taken at several branches of the family and Tobias Brinkmann, who works in the USA but was in Germany in July and whose research focuses on migration history, told us more about the background of Jewish migration to Chicago. A Westphalian evening in Haltern-Lippramsdorf and a dinner in the Schlaunscher Hall of Lembeck castle rounded off the busy days.

Most of the people who came did not know each other before and were very pleased to meet their newly discovered cousins, uncles and aunts. „Today I met more Eisendraths in three hours than in the last fifty years of my life,” said Richard Eisendrath. The visitors, aged between 5 and 89, were impressed by the Museum, the Museum Association and the program. They were grateful to be informed of their unusual family history about which most of them had previously known very little. They were finally able to understand their distant European roots a little better.

And new transatlantic friendships have been made…

Our thanks go to our friendly guests, to all the hosts and helpers and, of course, to Elisabeth Schulte-Huxel, the „mother” of the project!

Norbert Reichling

I SET OFF ON MY JOURNEY TO DORSTEN WITH MANY QUESTIONS ON THE SENSE OF SUCH A MEETING BUT IT WAS A REAL DISCOVERY FOR ME: IT HAS GIVEN A PART OF MY LIFE MORE DEPTH AND A NEW LOOK AT INTERACTION, FOR EXAMPLE WITH MY FATHER.
Henri Eisendrath

WE HAVE MET SO MANY RELATIVES AND KNOW THAT WITHOUT YOU THIS WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED.
Richard, Diane, John, Becky, Michael and Metthew Eisendrath

YOU REALLY TREATED US LIKE ROYALTY. Adam Eisendrath IT WAS AN IMPORTANT EXPERIENCE FOR US. THIS WAS JUST THE BEGINNING.
Ed and Alice Eisendrath

IT WAS A VERY STRONG EXPERIENCE WHICH WE WILL NEVER FORGET. THE WORLD HAS NOW BECOME A BIT SMALLER AND WE HAVE GROWN CLOSER TO EACH OTHER THAN BEFORE.
Mary and Allen Mossmann

THIS HAS CERTAINLY STRENGTHENED THE „IRON WIRE” OF THE FAMILY!
Claudine and Georges Eisendrath

 
   
 

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